Ooooh, something new and different for me – more sshirts! And you’ll be pleased to know I’m making more shirts while I’m stuck at home!
These are yet more Archer shirts. I’ve made a few archers in my time (1, 2, 3) and the little alterations I made on the 3rd one make these fit pretty well.
The fabric is a lovely, soft cotton linen mix from Fabric Godmother. I bought it with the voucher my friends at my old job bought me…..back in June!
In my defence, I did make these back in September. I’ve worn them quite a lot since they were finished. Especially as I work in a bookshop which has to have the doors open so during the Winter I was wearing 6-8 layers to keep warm. Shirts are definitely a good layering piece!
I decided to just put one pocket on each shirt, and I changed the direction of the stripes for a bit of interest. I like how it looks – and I couldn’t be bothered to stripe match the pockets so this is a good way of avoiding some pattern matching!
I think these will be great shirts for when the weather is warmer (it has to warm up eventually, right?!). I’m picturing them with the sleeves rolled up, with jeans and sandals. I might be dreaming a lot of warmer weather as this Winter seems to have been going on FOREVER!
I still really like making shirts – the top-stitching is so satisfying! As I mentioned I’ve got a couple more I’m sewing at the moment but then I should probably pause on shirt-making as there are only so many shirts one person needs……while only having one pair of jeans!
Do you like making shirts? Do you have a favourite shirt pattern? I think mine is between the Archer and the Kalle.
Now that May is well and truly over, I thought I’d do a recap of Me Made May. You can see my pledge here.
My main take-away is that I failed to make jeans. What a surprise. I’ve been saying I’m going to make jeans for 2 months (plus about a year before that!). I have a free weekend in a couple of weeks and it is my plan to make some jeans then – I wasn’t in the mood to make them on either of the bank holiday weekends in May as it was so bloody hot! The last thing I wanted to be doing was wrestling denim through my sewing machine.
I also found it pretty hard to decide what to wear as the weather was all over the place. I know it’s very british and boring to talk about the weather, but on the first bank holiday Monday when I was playing out with the brass band, it was 28 C and then there were other days that were 14 C.
I documented my outfits daily on Instagram and after a couple of days I decided to add another dimension to my challenge and try to have my photos look different from each other. This was kind of fun for the first week and then I just got even more fed up with documenting my outfits than in previous years because I then felt I had to think of somewhere new or a new pose for the photo. It was supposed to be a fun thing to try to break me out of my rut of the same few poses, but it didn’t really work out that way. I did, however, post as many outtakes as I could. It makes me laugh to see the stupid photos that The Boyfriend (who was a very patient Instagram Husband through the month) accidentally took. This might be the last year I take daily photos as it’s the least fun part for me, so I might try a different way of documenting my outfits so I can continue to scrutinise my wardrobe and plan my makes accordingly.
Here is a recap of all my outfits:
What I’ve learned about my handmade wardrobe:
- I need more trousers! I wore the same 2 pairs most of the month in rotation, and the suit trousers a couple of times.
- All of my knitwear is still ready to wear and I’m okay with that. I don’t have time to knit myself new things and most of the cardigans are still wearable so it seems not very eco-friendly to replace them all for the sake of having a 100% handmade wardrobe. I will make replacements as and when they wear out, but it’s not desperate.
- One of my favourite things in my wardrobe is my navy with white spots shirt (as you can see in Day 30) and it was from a charity shop. I think this is a good way to add to my wardrobe with things I wouldn’t necessarily make or things that I just like.
- I re-wore a few things that I had forgotten about, like the mustard corduroy skirt refashion.
- I didn’t get to wear a few things I really like because it wasn’t warm enough on enough days. I’m particularly sad my 2 In The Folds Collins Tops didn’t make it, but apparently the UK is going to have a 3-month heatwave so I’m sure they’ll get some wear this year.
- Most of my outfits fitted into the colour palette I decided I wanted to wear when I did the Wardrobe Architect last year, which is pretty cool. It is definitely easier to put together outfits when you like all the colours and they go with each other. The 2 cleos I made are definitely going to be a great addition to my wardrobe and fit into my palette. I’ve tried to be more focussed when buying fabric, and I guess it’s working!
What did you learn from Me Made May?
I made another Archer! I’ve made 2 before and I wear them pretty often – the flowery one for some reason feels more work-appropriate and the spotty one seems more casual, though I don’t really know why!
I feel like there probably isn’t too much to say about the Archer, now this is the third time I’ve made it. I made the size 4, as I have before, but this time I took 2.5cm off the shoulder pattern pieces to raise up the sleeves a little and make the shoulder seam sit more on my actual shoulders. The fabric is from The Great British Sewing Bee Live, from a shop called Holland and Sherry and it’s got a really subtle herringbone pattern in it. And it’s nice and thick.
For some reason I made the vast majority of this shirt in November but when I mentioned it in my planning post, I hadn’t done the buttons and button holes. I did most of this back before Christmas (I can’t remember when exactly) but I forgot the cuff button holes and buttons, so it languished as a UFO for a couple of months until the weekend before last I finally had white thread in my machine and did the last 2 button holes.
I did wear this to work but I wore it with my suit refashion trousers and it definitely gave me school uniform vibes – my uniform was grey trousers, white shirt, royal blue and gold tie and a black blazer! I think if I wear it with other colours then it won’t be quite so bad. Everyone has a white shirt in their wardrobe and I never think they look like they’re wearing a school uniform.
I used the second cuff option on the pattern, with the corners ‘missing’ and I’m really glad I did.
Here’s a shameless close up of my topstitching, which I think it amongst the best I’ve ever done. Which is lucky because this fabric did not like being unpicked – there were pretty much permanent holes wherever the needle went in.
This is my sort-of-outtake from this photoshoot – I took a whole bunch of photos and then looked at them and thought I should really iron the shirt as it looked soooo wrinkley!
I’m definitely glad I now have a classic white shirt – a definite wardrobe staple! Also I’m wearing a navy blue vest top underneath (because I was already wearing it) and you can’t see it, so it’s great to know the fabric is pretty much thick enough not to show it!
November has been a quite quiet month for me sewing-wise. I only finished 2 things, though one of them was a shirt and I like taking my time with shirts to make sure all the top-stitching is all neat and lovely. And this white Archer shirt definitely contains some of the neatest topstitching I’ve ever done. I really took my time because this was the really nice quality fabric I bought at the Great British Sewing Bee Live, plus I discovered it marked a bit when pinned and a lot when unpicked so I made sure to unpick as little as possible! The eagle-eyed reader may spot I haven’t sewn on the buttons yet – that’s for this evening in front of the tv!
My other finished item in November is possibly my favourite thing I’ve ever made – and I’ve had a lot of compliments each time I’ve worn it. I think it might be one of my best instances of matching pattern and fabric. It’s my first Sew Over It Nancy Dress. I signed up to the PDF club because of this pattern and it’s the only one I’ve bought this whole year!
I’m going to try to be as realistic as possible about how many things I’m likely to make in December, and I’ve come up with 2-3, though I know I won’t get them all finished! One thing I do have to finish, though, is my dress for New Craft House’s Winter Party next weekend. One of my friends at work gave me this dress which doesn’t fit her and it doesn’t fit me either, so I’ve unpicked it and am planning to make it into a By Hand London Sophia Dress. I’ve muslined it once and have made some tweaks, so just need to make a second muslin to check the new fit, then hopefully I can get cracking!
The other thing I’m hoping to get finished is this spotty melilot shirt. I cut it out a while ago, so I just need to get cracking.
I’ve got one or two Christmas presents I want to make, too, so it’s going to be a busy month! Plus I haven’t started any of my shopping yet! Does anyone else like Christmas but find the lead up to it a bit stressful and overwhelming?!
October was a fairly productive month for me, mostly because I had last week off work and used most of my time off as a sew-cation, with a couple of days doing fun stuff for The Boyfriend’s and my birthdays (which are 8 days apart).
My first finished make was my coral Sew Over It Anderson Blouse. I think the fabric might have been a little on the thick side for the pattern, but I do like it and I love the colour – I need more coral clothes in my life.
I also managed to finish 2 of the dresses I had planned to make – my yellow geometric patterned Marianne Dress and my black and white striped In The Folds Jersey Dress. They took one afternoon each – I love sewing with jersey!
My biggest project of the month, however, was my suit refashion for The Refashioners challenge. I juuust got it finished in time for the deadline, though I doubt turning a suit into a suit will be imaginative enough to win the amazing prize package! If you follow me on Instagram you will have already seen some photos of my refashion, and there will be a full post coming on Friday explaining all the changes I made so sorry if you get bored of seeing it over and over again! I’m pretty please with how it/they turned out, if I say so myself.
So now onto my plans for November. Are you getting as sick of me saying I’m going to make jeans as I am? It’s been a whole year! Maybe November will finally be the month!?
The Sew Over It Nancy Dress I planned last month is already partly made, so this is a little cheaty, but I hope to get it finished this month.
I’ve also cut out a couple more shirts as I find myself wanting to wear shirt more and more, so hopefully I’ll get my white Archer and my spotty Melilot finished too.
I think this should be enough to keep me going!